In a large mixing bowl, sift together bread flour, sugar and salt. Set aside. I use a wire whisk to sift dry ingredients.
In small bowl or cup, dissolve 1 tablespoon sugar into 2/3 cup warm water. Add yeast and let it rest until foamy, about 5 minutes.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat together butter (at room temperature, not melted), milk and 3 eggs, until thoroughly blended
Blend yeast mixture and butter mixture into flour mixture. Knead until smooth and elastic. Add more milk or flour to correct texture if needed. Dough should not stick to bowl
Shape dough into ball and place in an oiled bowl. Turn dough to coat with oil and cover with warm damp towel. Let it rise in slightly warm place until doubled in bulk. Usually, 1 hour. A preheated 150 degree oven, turned off, works for me
Punch dough down. Let it rest 5 minutes. Form dough into desired bread shape (loaves or traditional brioche rolls) and place in greased pan(s) or muffin tin (for rolls). Let double in bulk again (1 hour), covered with warm damp towel in slightly warm place.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from oven if that is where it has been rising. In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 teaspoon water. Brush egg wash on top(s) of bread. Bake until golden brown, 45-50 minutes for 1 loaf, 30-40 minutes for 2 loaves, 20-25 minutes for individual brioches. Makes 1 large or 2 small loaves or 1 dozen individual brioches.
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